Helium has been the most popular method of choice for those considering rational suicide. Distressing (or likely to be distressing) methods of suicide, such as hanging, shooting, wrist slashing, household chemicals, tend to be used by those who are not making well-considered decisions in the face of unbearable and unrelievable illness.
Please note (April 2015): A major gas supplier is now supplying canisters of “helium balloon gas” that contains only 80 per cent helium. These are unsuitable for ending one’s life, should that day come and the need arise.
(Note that it is only Balloon Time (manufactured by Worthington) that have officially changed their policy in many countries to a helium ‘mix.’ Other other party balloon kits, such as ‘Balloon Occasion’ manufactured by BOC are unaffected. BOC’s data sheets still specify their balloon gas at the original, unmixed purity. 8/May/’15.) This website is a blog, so the most up-to-date information is in the most recent posts. For instance, on helium
Rational suicide is not overly difficult. We would prefer that those can find value, quality and dignity in their life, no matter how severe the circumstances appear just now, seek support and help as soon as possible – after all, what have you got to lose? This site is aimed first and foremost to those who want rational insurance against an unknown future, and the ability to take matters into their own hands should they decide the time has come to end their days. Exit does not encourage anyone to end their life by suicide: but in the event that a person has made a conscious, competent, well-informed and persistent decision, free of influence from anyone else, and is so determined that nothing anyone else could say will make any difference: in such circumstances, we sincerely hope that such persons find a less painful, less undignified, less distressing means of consummating their final act.
Exit provides comprehensive information on methods of rational suicide but for reasons of common sense and the law we provide this in group workshops, in our graphic magazine for members (Exit Newsletter) and in our published book series, Five Last Acts; not on a one-to-one personal basis, over the phone, or by email. This website includes tips and additional information to assist persons with the information, complementing such information with the latest news and updates. It is not, however, intended as a complete guide in itself.
The main dignified and peaceful methods used by persons facing unbearable and unrelievable conditions are a) helium, b) compression of the arteries, c) sleeping tablets used with a hood, prescription and non-prescription medicines, and willed refusal of liquids and food. While all these methods are capable of producing a dignified death, some are harder than others. We recommend any responsible adult to consult either our comprehensive books on the subject or do research using other available materials.
Persons conducting more in-depth research into the methods might be interested in the larger of our larger textbooks, The Exit Path, which examines different approaches to the use of helium for rational suicide (self-deliverance).
Thousands of people draw strength just from our publications. They say that knowing how to take control gives them courage to face the future with its many unknowns. They will probably never have to take matters into their own hands but, as with insurance policies, it’s good to know you have some cover, something to help you make back-up plans, should the worst eventuality ever come to pass.
We are all going to die one day, and the fear of death or dying can haunt us in our later years. Knowledge is the best antidote to fear. It dispels the darkness of ignorance and puts us back in control – or at least restores more control than we had before in most cases. It gives us a choice. It can restore our courage. The will to live is so strong that in all but the most exceptional cases it will prevail until the end. But if you regard your life as special (as it is), if you are the sort of person who likes to be in charge of their own life, then the final segment should be one of your own choosing.
It is important to understand the realities. Various factors can mean a very undignified or painful death (whether naturally, in medical care or by one’s own hand) and other factors can mean a good, peaceful and fulfilling end to life – again, whether naturally, with the help of medicine, or even bringing it a little closer to a time and manner of one’s own choosing. A person’s death is not even limited to their own experience: as the crowning event of your life, it will live on in memory for those that you love. Making that memory one of conscious control and freedom from indignity and pain is an important consideration for many of us.
Knowing the ins and outs of using helium alone is not a complete solution. There may be circumstances that would make it impossible or very difficult. There are also important considerations about relationships, social practicalities and making the most of available medicine. Even with these covered, there may still be the psychological factors – fear of all “this” – one’s life, one’s consciousness – coming to a complete end. While most of Exit’s work, research and written material focuses on methods of rational suicide, these additional factors are not ignored.
We don’t recommend a ‘quick fix.’ We recommend choosing one of our publications and reading it several times to absorb it. By doing that today, you can insure for the future.
Helium is the most popular method of self-deliverance among members of right-to-die groups. But helium cannot be used, for instance, in a hospital or situations where other might interfere. With manufacturers and retailers contaminating some supplies with air, other inert gases will be more frequently sought. Most of use do not know exactly what the future will bring.
We recommend you prepare for more than one ‘exit’ – depending on your freedom of movement, abilities to swallow, mental alertness, whether in a nursing home/hospital, and your overall physical state and support. Our ‘Five Last Acts’ gives you options from which you can be Free to Choose … and in doing so choose a PEACEFUL DIGNIFIED DEATH.
The 2015 update of Five Last Acts II includes the warning about helium, mostly applicable to balloon kits purchased from April 2015. The 2015 edition of Five Last Acts The Exit Path (822 pages), due mid to late May 2015, includes in-depth examination of the changes regarding helium and a very detailed look at nitrogen alternatives. The conference brochure, Methods & Dialogues, (below centre) is based on a 2014 seminar and of interest mainly to persons who are already familiar with either edition of Five Last Acts and similar publications. (Note: Amazon is selling older editions at a very greatly reduced price in some countries, extending our special offer to readers of this Blog.)
The 2015 edition of Five Last Acts II (green background, above) has some small updates to reflect the changed situation on helium. The 2015 edition of Five Last Acts – The Exit Path, a major new update (blue background, above) includes very detailed analysis, references and exposition on both helium and nitrogen. See the Publications Page of this Blog for more details.
Exit main poster
Download this poster to display in your library, community centre, or citizens advice bureau.
Suicide and vulnerable persons
Download this poster to tell people about suicide prevention services (UK).
Tri-fold leaflet about Five Last Acts – The Exit Path
Free to download and print.
For more posters, scroll down to the bottom of the Home page
Please note: Exit works on a small budget. You might also consider a donation or bequest.
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